The article, by Worth, Josepha and Stephens,Christopher J. discusses the growth in emerging community colleges across the West, notably the U.S, in light of contemporary social, demographic and economic environment in the U.S …
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This changing demographic trend has led the community colleges to revamp their educational methods and offerings in order to ensure that adult learners get the quality of education they want. The article further contrasts the traditional learner with the adult learner by stressing the fact that adult learners often return to collegiate level with a diverse set of qualifications and experience and have a clear sense of direction as far as their academic career is concerned. Community colleges, such as St. Louis Community College in St. Louis, Missouri,face the difficulty of catering to both types of learner simultaneously. The article then proceeds with initial obstacles community colleges face in providing a level playing field to both sets of learners, how these colleges can create congenial learning environments for both learners, how the Accelerated Learning Programworks in community colleges and finally what the future looks like with community colleges trying to provide educational opportunities to both types of learners simultaneously....
STLCC, however, has procedures in place that ensure that the past does not prove to be a stumbling block for the future of these adult learners; that is, some sort of relaxation (such as adjustment in GPA) is allowed in order for adult learners to compete effectively against traditional ones (Worth & Stephens, 2011). Refresher courses such as college algebra are also provided to students returning after a long time (Worth & Stephens, 2011). Another trend is that adult learners are less comfortable with tech-savvy educational methods compared to their traditional counterparts. This is because the former have resumed studies at the collegiate level after a long time, thus, their skills have been out dated. STLCC has effectively put in place a Cornerstone class where returning students are imparted with basic computer and linguistic skills (Worth & Stephens, 2011). Additionally, “Learn and Earn” seminars offer free lunch is an effective out-of-the classroom learning techniques (Worth & Stephens, 2011). Another rather significant trend has been for learners to look for customized schedules owing to modern trends such as part-time jobs, flexi-work, and home-based work opportunities etc. Students of today are not just learning; they are working at the same time. As product lifecycles grow short ( of employees in the job market as well ) and as affordability becomes a major factor, most programs at STLCC last two years or fewer which is in response to the emerging trend where collegiate wish to complete their studies well before their educational skills become obsolete in the job market (Worth & Stephens, 2011). The reason is simple: most students want to study so that they are “employable” and wish to complete their degrees well before the
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